John Young on Sat, 12 Feb 2011 22:48:47 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The second American revolution?

A commendably hopeful essay. So far the Egyptian initiative has lofted
a Mubarak stooge in his place and the elevated overt military control.

These are not hopeful yet, and based on past examples of exactly these
non-revolutionary, reactionary shifts, not much can be expected beyond
paternalism toward the protestors narcotized by celebrity, and if
that does not work, sniping and disappearing leaders, then if that
doesn't work, set loose goons to rape and kill to provoke violence in
return and threatening civil war, assuring continued military control
always cloaked in what's best for protection of the nation and its
all-too-manipulable people from opportunistic ideologues and outside

That worked in much of South America for a century and still working
in China and North Korea, and Venezuela and Cuba and Pakistan and
Afghanistan and Jordan and Israel and Great Britain and the United
States of America, indeed, there is hardly a true democracy anywhere
on earth, instead pseudo democracies abound completely controlled by
military cum financial cartels.

There is little chance of ensconced and comfortable intellectuals to
forego their perks beyond dissimulation and pretentious strut which
are quite well funded and celebrated and magnified by the panoply of
media everready to vaunt bloviation to lure eyeballs to ads.

Al Jazeera is a lucrative business not a public service, and in that
it is merely another self-promoting journalistic conceit like CNN,
NYT and the others. Dare to challenge an Al Jazeera reporter and
experience hysterical recitation of credentials, all based on lurid
stories with superficial content -- exactly what comes from every
other journalist associated with the most famous of outlets. The blogs
no different. Except for the very few who have the guts to cross the
line into criminality, not once for effect, but enduringly as the line
of acceptable criminality shifts to embrace the celebrated dissidents
as participants in quelling the unknowns.

It is disheartening to see Obama and others citing the giants

of dissent, metronomically, stupidly, and never the unknown dwarfs
and those less than photogenic and memnonic dwarfs: the people en
masse, undividuated except as cartoons, as if Marxian mob-stooges for
a grand stage of intellectual posturing about historical forces and
the will of the people with formulaic vapidity fit for vanishing down
the memoryless media hole as a momentary inconsequence.

Imagine a gathering of Egyptian proportion in DC Mall, some 4-5
million bellowing discontents demanding the shutdown of the 3 branches
of government as sinkholes of corruption. Imagine the Pentagon keeping
hands off, not using 1 of every hundred dissidents and not a few of
their leaders as spies, not recording every face and chant and poster
for future targeting, not arranging the complicity media to cover
the protest like mere entertainment and warning against crossing the
line. Imagine the Egyptian protest is somehow hopefully different
from the dutiful Parks Department regulated DC protests, that it will
not take a generation or more for a perduable benefit. Imagine your
rebellious children, fed up with faux adult concern, are slaughtered
and disappeared in the military charnelhouse and holdng pens of
protestation while your clubhouse gang muses historical significance.

But then Obama is a millionaire, as the giants became as their
hard-fought individual efforts became national and global enterprises.
So what else is new.

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